After 10 days without proper power, i’m happy to say our electricity has finally been fixed! We’re back to full power. Hurrah! Oh air conditioning how i’ve missed you! The floors are drying out, my clothes don’t all feel wet anymore and we’re finally able to start shifting the mould. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me, my mood has changed completely ever since the power went back on. For those have you who have put up with my constant moaning about the electricity, thank you! I promise to stop whining and complaining now!
I’ve found it very hard being without an oven for so long. Cake baking aside, I didn’t realise just how much I use my oven, from grilling my morning toast to roasting sweet potatoes and salmon in the evening. The first thing I did after the electrician left was, naturally, turn the oven on to preheat, whip out my mixing bowl, and bake these little cupcakes, just in time for World Baking Day!
These are really simple little vanilla cupcakes. The sponge is light and delicate. Each little cupcake is filled with a spoon of strawberry jam. They’re generously topped with a light vanilla buttercream, then decorated with pastel sprinkles.
The cakes are so very easy to make. Requiring only basic ingredients, in simple ratios. If you’re even an occasional baker you probably already have all the ingredients sitting in your cupboards. They remind me of the little butterfly cakes and fairy cakes I first learnt to bake when I was small. There’s a simple comfort in the combination of vanilla and strawberry jam.
Fresh and summery, these are perfect little cakes to enjoy as the weather warms up.
Can you imagine taking them out of a wicker picnic basket, sitting them down on a blanket laid over grass. Complete the picture with a bowl of vibrant, fresh strawberries, bright red fruit against deep green leaves. A few little sandwiches maybe, perhaps a tub of olives, or a giant flaky sausage roll. Crack open a bottle of champagne, or make up a jug of Pimms. Peel off the cupcake paper. Bite through the smooth buttercream into the sticky, sweet strawberry jam and tender, vanilla sponge. What could be better?
Vanilla and Strawberry Jam Cupcakes
(Makes 6 – recipe can be easily doubled)
for the cakes
115g caster sugar
2 large eggs
115g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 teaspoons strawberry jam
for the buttercream
200g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
Line a six hole cupcake tin with paper cases.
Cream together the butter and the sugar until pale and light.
Beat in the eggs, flour and baking powder.
Stir in the milk until combined, then finally stir in the vanilla extract.
Divide the mixture between the 6 paper cases.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until risen and golden.
Cool completely on a wire rack.
While the cakes are cooling, making your buttercream.
Beat the butter until soft and smooth.
Sift in the icing sugar and beat until combined.
Stir in the vanilla extract.
If your kitchen is warm, it’s best to pop it into the fridge for a few minutes while you fill the cakes.
Using a teaspoon, scoop a teaspoon sized amount of cake out of the top of each cupcake.
Fill the well you have made with a teaspoon of strawberry jam.
Pipe or spoon the buttercream onto your cakes. Decorate with sprinkles.